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Regional newspapers cautiously welcome Kim-Trump agreement

Jun 13. 2018
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The historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un in Singapore on Tuesday was the subject of newspaper editorials across the region and the world.

Among them, The Korea Herald in Seoul said the agreement signed by the leaders “raised hope for a new era of reconciliation between the two countries”.

However, it noted: “The summit in Singapore is just a beginning. The North Korean nuclear issue cannot be solved at a single stroke ... Until the denuclearisation process is completed, both Pyongyang and Washington must stick to sincere efforts to keep their pledges, while related countries must keep cooperating with them.”

The paper said the Moon Jae-in administration in South Korea “should not drive its inter-Korean projects, economic assistance in particular, too quickly, until the nuclear issue is solved completely”.

It added that the economic support offered to the North cannot be one-sided and “can [only] be meaningful when it accompanies reform and the opening of North Korean society. Blind assistance is prone to regress to the repetition of past failures.”

In Japan, The Yomiuri Shimbun, called for “concrete results”. It said: “Achieving the goal [of denuclearisation] requires the North to accurately declare its nuclear weapons and materials as well as its nuclear-related facilities first, and then to make progress in scrapping them and removing them from that country. This will also call for facilitating arrangements for the International Atomic Energy Agency and other organisations to conduct verification and inspection activities.

“The success or failure of the summit meeting will be determined, depending on whether a certain measure of advancement will be achieved in working to draw a roadmap that lays down procedures and deadlines for such measures ... It should be noted that North Korea’s military threats, including ballistic missiles and conventional forces, will not immediately be reduced.

“It is too early to even discuss concluding a US-North Korea peace treaty, or withdrawing and reducing US forces stationed in South Korea.”

The China Daily opined: “While appreciating the political resolve shown by Kim and Trump, China has urged further dialogue and the continued efforts of all the parties concerned to push forward the peace process and denuclearisation.

“And it will continue to play its part in seeking to achieve these goals, by firmly supporting the two countries realising the consensus reached by Kim and Trump in Singapore and providing its continued support to consolidate and expand that consensus.”

The Chinese paper noted that North Korea’s sense of security was a major issue. “While no one should expect the summit to have ironed out all the differences and erased the deep-seated mistrust between the two long-time foes, it has ignited hopes that they will be finally able to put an end to their hostility and that the long-standing peninsula issues can finally be resolved.

“These hopes should not be extinguished.”

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